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Dinner in the Sky Still Airborne, Despite Vegas Setback


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Dinner in the Sky plans a blowout event in Brussels in June.

It seemed like a pie-in-the-sky idea—strap guests onto a platform, hoist them 200 feet in the air and serve them dinner. But Dinner in the Sky, as the concept is known, has reached its 10-year anniversary and is in 56 countries—although the first permanent location, planned for Las Vegas, is closed for now.

Dinner in the Sky is celebrating with a blowout event, and the high-falutin’ prose in the press release deserves to stand on its own: “To celebrate its tenth anniversary, Dinner in the Sky aims to raise—literally—Belgian gastronomy to the highest level between the 1st and 5th of June. Against the backdrop of the Atomium, 4,500 connoisseurs will get to enjoy the creations of 10 Michelin star chefs at a 50-meter height. This is a unique and exclusive event that will astound the world.”

Dinner in the Sky started in Brussels in 2006 as a marketing gimmick and a temporary event, the brainchild of Stefan Kerkhofs and David Ghysels. For the anniversary event, 10 cranes will hoist 10 Dinner in the Sky platforms into the air for three dinner services a day, featuring the work of 10 Michelin chefs including Wout Bru of Brasserie Bru and Yves Mattagne of Sea Grill. “This promises to be an unforgettable event for all—for all 4,500, to be exact,” the press release gushes.

For Janeen Hinden, however, the franchisee in Las Vegas, the reality is more down-to-earth. When we spoke with her in the fall of 2013 she was planning a $5-million permanent version of the crane-and-a-table franchise in Las Vegas.

We asked at the time: How do you serve dinner to 44 guests, each harnessed in a chair on one of two seven-ton platforms hoisted 180 feet in the air and dangling so high the restaurant requires clearance from the FAA? She shot back: “You can’t forget the salt.”

But reached today she confirmed the location is closed, as Yelpers had said and despite a full-fledged website and a classy voice on the answering machine promoting reservations. “We’ve had a lot of issues with OSHA,” Hinden says, referring to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration and concerns over server safety. “OSHA is insane, so it’s very challenging. But we will get it going.” No firm date is set to re-open the site.

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is staff writer at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner is editor-at-large of Franchise Times magazine and the editor of the Food On Demand media project. You can reach her at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nanweingartner.
 

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